About the program

The Victorian Government’s New and Upgraded Dog Parks program seeks to improve the state's open space network by committing $13.4 million to ensure that Victorians have easy access to much needed green open space to exercise, relax or enjoy the outdoors with their dogs.

This investment will provide funding to specific public land managers to design and deliver the new and upgraded dog parks across Victoria in two rounds. This program also supports the continued implementation of the Victorian Government’s Open Space for Everyone Strategy 2021.

This Program aims to:

  • Invest in underutilised public land for Victorians to connect with their communities and exercise their dogs;
  • Invest in informal and formal off-leash areas to meet the growing demand for people to socialise and exercise their dog off-leash;
  • Contribute to urban greening, cooling and shading of local neighbourhoods; and
  • Improve connectivity of open spaces with other points of interest and activity.

The first round of this program will focus on targeted grants to local councils for the delivery of up to six new dog parks and up to 13 dog park upgrades across Victoria with total funding available of up to $10 million.

The second round of the program will be a competitive grants process for local councils to design and deliver dog park upgrades in areas of greatest need. Eligible local councils will be provided further information regarding the second round of the program in mid-2024.

Cliff Whitworth Reserve Dog Park, Essendon West (Photo credit: Daniel at Artificial Studio)

Round 1 eligibility

Round 1 of this program will provide capped funding to specific eligible organisations (public land managers) for the purpose of delivering new and upgraded dog parks. DEECA has commenced discussions with eligible organisations. Further information about the program guidelines can be accessed below:

New and Upgraded Dog Parks - Round 1 Guidelines

New and Upgraded Dog Parks - Round 1 Guidelines (accessible version)

Round 1 key dates



Program guidelines provided to eligible organisations

Early January 2024

Program briefing to eligible organisations

Early February 2024

Applications open

Early February 2024

Applications close

Early March 2024

Applicants notified

April 2024

Funding agreements established and finalised

April/May 2024

Projects formally commence

May 2024 onwards

Projects completed with final reports and financial acquittals submitted to DEECA

No later than 30 June 2026

Please note: Key dates may be subject to change – eligible organisations will be advised of any changes accordingly.

Completed dog parks

Since 2018, 31 new dog parks have been delivered across Melbourne and regional Victoria through two programs to create more space for our four-legged friends to run and play.

This included an investment of $5 million towards 14 off-leash dog parks in metropolitan Melbourne under the Suburban Parks Program, and a further $2.5 million for the creation of 17 off-leash dog parks across regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne under the Eco Stimulus Building Works package.

Find out more about the completed dog park projects here.

More information

For information and enquires please email the Open Space Programs team at open.space@deeca.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 15/01/24